The difference between Chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths

This is a question that crops up a lot – “what is the difference between chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths”. If you’ve found a good chiropractor, a good physio or a good osteopath, then stick with them. If you’ve never experienced any of then I’ll attempt a comparison:

Firstly, there are many similarities. All of these professions treat the joints and muscles of the body. All are hands on, and all use a variety of techniques and exercises. All three professions evolved separately and went their different ways. Over the years they have become more similar, to the point that and if they were to be invented today, they’d probably all be the same. However there are some key differences that are worth knowing:

The initial training for physiotherapy is quite different to chiropractic and osteopathy. We think of physios as sports injury specialists because we see them run onto the pitch during football games. However the majority of training and work for a physiotherapist revolves around cardio, respiratory and neurological rehabilitation in a hospital setting. They help you to regain the function of your body when you’ve been seriously ill. This is of course mainly done through the NHS. Private physiotherapists have often done additional courses to specialise in sports injuries. Their work is often a mixture of hands on treatment and targeted exercises.

Chiropractic and osteopathic training is more similar from the outset. Both are known for specialising in treating the spine but they both also treat other musculoskeletal complaints. Chiropractors tend to target the specific area of dysfunction and correct it. The importance of the nervous system is emphasised and relieving pressure from trapped or irritated nerves is considered important for achieving the best result. Osteopaths take a broader, more regional approach, but may treat in a similar way. In addition, chiropractors are trained to take and to interpret X-rays that can help with diagnosis.

Which is more effective? Who should I see?

As stated earlier, if you find, or are recommended, a good chiropractor, osteopath or physio, you will very likely get on very well regardless of the nature of the complaint. At Chiropractic UK Hinckley we pride ourselves on offering the very best chiropractic care. Many patients come in having been referred by friends or family who have had a great experience themselves. Check out the ‘How Chiropractic Helps’ tab at the top of the page to see the sort of conditions treated. If you’re still unsure which way to turn and would like to speak to the Chiropractor first then call us on 01455 230092.